Types of Indian Soils – All Information You Must Know

Did you know that the pedosphere is the topmost sheet of the earth, composed of a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and living organisms called soil?

Soil is necessary to the history and success of our planet. As we have read in the past, the soil has played a crucial role in the division of several kingdoms; based on that, the Indian soils classify into different types.

Do you know that people have sacrificed a lot of their lives to protect their Homeland?  

They shed blood just for the sake of protecting their land soil that became the foundation of unity.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)  classifies Different regions of Indian soils 

  • Alluvial Soil
  • Black Cotton Soil
  • Red Soil
  • Laterite Soil
  • Mountainous or Forest Soils
  • Arid or Desert Soil
  • Saline and Alkaline Soil
  • Peaty Soil 
  • Marshy Soil

In the ancient period, archaeologists distinguished soil into two parts 

  • Urvara (fertile)
  • Usara (sterile). 

And then, the archaeologists classified the soils based on texture, moisture, colour, cultivation, and area. 

This article will emphasize four types of Indian soils – Alluvial, Black, Red, and Laterite soils.

  • Alluvial Soil-

 It is a stony grey soil formed by the debris of the Himalayas, also known as the azonal soil. 

Alluvial soil found in the widespread northern plains and the river valley varies from sandy loam to clay in nature. 

 Two types of alluvial soil are: 

  • Khadar 
  • Bhangar 

Alluvial soil lacks nitrogen and is well-known for growing leguminous crops, wheat, etc. 

  • Red Soil 

Due to the diffusion of iron, it develops a reddish colour and derives from the granite of metamorphic rock called zonal soil. This type of soil lacks nitrogen, phosphorus, and humus and desires irrigation for cultivation. Red soil is porous with a flaky structure. 

Intense leaching is not suitable for this type of soil. Crops grown in this soil are pulses, tobacco, millets, oilseeds, potatoes, etc. Areas with low rainfall can find this type of soil.

  • Laterite soil 

Due to iron oxide and derivation from brick, also known as later, this soil can convert from soft to hard based on the moisture in the ground, soft when wet, and hard when dried. Therefore, you can find this type of soil in areas with high temperatures as well as rainfall. It is rich in iron and aluminium but lacks N (nitrogen), K (potassium), lime, potash, and humus. 

Crops that can be grown are Rice, Ragi sugarcane, etc.

  • Black Soil 

The clayey texture is mature for growing cotton, for which it is known as Regur Soil. It has a high water-retaining capacity. Spread across the Deccan plateau, black soil is known for its fertility and self-ploughing nature.  A considerable amount of Ca, Fe, and Mg are present, but the soil lacks N, P, and organic matter.


Soil is one of the natural resources which is the foundation of everything from plants and trees to houses and buildings. It refers to as dirt, yet it is considered a source of food. In this article, I have talked about various types of Soil-based on archaeological differences. I hope I am clear with the facts. 

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